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Rear control arm


W30olds
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Has anyone ever replace the rear control arms? Not the trailing arms. Looks fairly straight forward. A few months back I had the monoleaf and struts replaced. When I went to have it aligned the tech showed me the bend control arm. Not sure if it was bent before the spring was replaced, or not. Anyway ordered a new part from GM today. I've gotten a new job since my car was fixed and haven't driven the GP that much the last 2 months, but wanted to get it fixed properly. Anyone tackeled this before?

 

Thanks,

Andy

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The lateral links? Yes, dozens of us have replaced them. The two rearward ones can be changed in a couple of minutes. The two front ones are a different story. GM stupidly installed the inner bolt on each from the front and they hit the fuel tank before coming out. Either the fuel tank or the subframe will need partially dropped to get it out. When going back together, make sure to stick that bolt in from the rear so they will forever be easily replaceable if need be.

 

Also, if replacing lateral links, get 2nd/3rd gen ones. They are tubular and don't bend like spaghetti noodles like the 1st gen ones do (as you've now found out). Setting rear toe on alignment is also MUCH easier and more accurate as the 2nd/3rd gen rear links are adjustable.

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Thanks for the info sir. Looks like a fun task. I'm going to ask about the tubular style. I just ordered the one from the VIN off the car. I'm assuming it's probably just like the original. Still no idea how it was bent. My guess when the shop installed the monoleaf it was tweaked and nobody said anything to me. I dunt know that for sure though. Just a guess

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And when you jack up the mono Leaf to relieve the pressure on the spindle assemblies you have to use a block between the Jack and the fiberglass. Otherwise you run the risk of getting a scratch in the fiberglass that could turn into a fracture.

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The lateral links? Yes, dozens of us have replaced them. The two rearward ones can be changed in a couple of minutes. The two front ones are a different story. GM stupidly installed the inner bolt on each from the front and they hit the fuel tank before coming out. Either the fuel tank or the subframe will need partially dropped to get it out. When going back together, make sure to stick that bolt in from the rear so they will forever be easily replaceable if need be.

 

Also, if replacing lateral links, get 2nd/3rd gen ones. They are tubular and don't bend like spaghetti noodles like the 1st gen ones do (as you've now found out). Setting rear toe on alignment is also MUCH easier and more accurate as the 2nd/3rd gen rear links are adjustable.

How irreplaceable are these upper/inner bolts? I haven't done this so I do not speak from experience, but from what you're saying, they were just assembled going the unnecessary "wrong" way. Is it a viable option to cut them off and replace with new ones going the more easily accessible way?

Edited by vipmiller803
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So still waiting on the part to arrive. Ordered it from GMpartsdirect.com because they are the best on prices, but slow to ship. Question......the GM guy said both rear end front/rear links are the same part number. So if your sitting in the drivers seat and the lateral link is the one on the drivers rear towards the front of the car is that the front, or rear lat. link? (Basically in the front of the monoleaf spring) GM guy just said they're both the same, but couldn't tell me if it's front, or rear. :think:

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I looked into replacing my lateral links with OEM parts from the dealer but the best price I could get was about $90 each. Ended up modifying 2g ones and was all in for about $100

 

Trailing arms are cheap and easy to obtain though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got the replacement link for my car. Took forever for it to come, but hope to get it changed out over the weekend. Then I'm going to take it and have the rear alignment checked and corrected if needed. Thanks for the info guys!

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  • 2 months later...

Does anyone know if the BMR suspension kit for 96-06 will fit a first gen, I have a 93 Z34. The stock part numbers match but wanted to know if this kit fits

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Is there one that is a better quality and/or price, also what about the strut braces and lateral links

 

All the control arms will work, the laterals included, but the general upgrade for trailing arms is the 2G/3G GMPP/9C1 arms, the 3G V8 arms, or the Dorman ones. For the laterals, the 2G/3G stuff is the upgrade. If wanting the fronts to be adjustable like the rears, buy four rear arms you can have them shortened/rewelded to fit in the front. GOT2BGM on the forum will do them if you can't do it locally. For all that you'd be looking at $175 or something. It wouldn't have poly bushings, but I'm not sure that would be much of an upgrade and people report the ride quality suffers.

 

The strut braces won't work.

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Dorman tubular trailing arms are actually really nice, GOT2BGM on our forum mods the second gen adjustable lats so you can have 4 adjustable lateral links in the back and put your wheels anywhere you want them within that adjustment. He puts poly bushings in them too. I personally can't see any benefit in buying the big-name ones when we have an option like that. That's the setup my third revision of my Regal is getting.

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His work is nice and he's a good friend. I have the prototype 3800 billet dogbones for my car. Had to tap a couple holes in the core support and use early brackets. Those are beautiful. Also have his rear stb brackets.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Finally had the link replaced yesterday at the local garage. I decided to let them do the job because we'll I didn't have all the time or tools. Long story short it got replaced. The tech put the car on the alignment rack and got all 4 wheels within spec. I'm super excited its all fixed correctly and that he was able to get the rear end lined up right. Apparently the rear toe and camber are adjustable even though I've had many shops say otherwise. I've even had a GM dealer tell me there was not adjustments in the rear. BS! After watching and learning from the alignment guy we both learned how to adjust the toe. GM has a special tool for the rear toe stuff. It's basically a hook that has threaded rods on the end. It hooks into the center cradle and the other in the holes on the latreal links. Adjust as needed on the threaded rod, or large pry bar. If anyone tells you the rear end is not adjustable find another repair shop, or inform them it is.

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